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Genealogies and Gene-ideologies: The Legitimacy of the Beta Israel (Falasha)

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The migration of the vast majority of Beta Israel (Falasha) to Israel has been accompanied by major shifts in the discourse regarding their ‘Jewishness' and ‘Ethiopian-ness'. This article discusses the adoption of traditions of Danite descent in place of traditions of Solomonic descent and the emergence of genetics as the most important identity marker, replacing reckonings of lineage. The first shift is connected to the migration of the Beta Israel from Ethiopia to Israel; the second to changing concepts of what represents ‘proof' of identity in the modern and post-modern world.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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